sustainable agriculture initiative
Fair Trade USA, a major third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, recently launched a new program called “Fair Trade for All,” an overarching organizational initiative that aims to double US sales of certified Fair Trade agricultural products and to further extend the benefits of its trade network to millions more farmers worldwide by 2015.
As part of an agreement to promote sustainable agriculture projects and speed up development of the Chinese countryside, PepsiCo and China’s Ministry of Agriculture will build and run demonstration farms that make use of the most advanced irrigation, fertilization and crop management techniques, the multinational soft drinks and food products giant announced yesterday.
The company will invest in sustainable agriculture development projects in China in support of the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan. PepsiCo will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to promote best practices, improve farmers’ yields, increase income levels and raise living standards.
The newly established Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC) has launched a national campaign to promote the growing of local, fresh food and the creation of green jobs. The organization, which counts educators, farmers, chefs, non-profit groups and others among its members, seeks to achieve its objectives by focusing on the development of eco-friendly recirculating farms.
For reference, the organization defines a recirculating farm as one that uses clean recycled water, rather than soil, as a basis to grow food. These farms can grow plants (hydroponics), fish (aquaculture), or both plants and fish together (aquaponics).
In 2009, the Vermont Legislature approved the Farm to Plate (F2P) initiative as part of the state’s 2010 jobs bills. The F2P initiative tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) with creating a 10-year strategic plan to strengthen and expand the state’s food system. Two years and a $400,000 later, the VSJF released a plan that contains 33 goals and 60 high priority strategies to create new jobs, increase market share, and improve environmental and economic health in the state’s agriculture sector.
The central aim of F2P is to promote and enable the production and consumption of locally grown foods in Vermont, said Erica Campbell, who became the VSJF Farm to Plate program director in July. She said the plan supports sustainable agriculture by virtue of its core focus.